A recent alum of the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University has won a Red Dot Design Award for design concept for her pioneering climbing pants.
Hanae Yaskawa was recognized for designing resilience paraclimbing pants for climbers with spinal cord injuries, which was also her capstone project in her final term at the Wilson School of Design in late 2020. Yaskawa graduated from the Technical Apparel Design program.
One of the world’s largest and well respected design competitions, the Red Dot Design Awards celebrate good quality design. The design concept award acknowledges the best in design concepts, prototypes and ready to launch products.
“It was surreal,” says Yaskawa about winning the award. “I was touched that the judging panel recognize that there was a significant impact and purpose behind these pants. The fact that it is serving a community which is traditionally underserved, I’m hoping this helps open up people’s eyes in terms of the gap in the market where there are athletes who have a need for technical adaptive apparel. And this is only one of many.”
The resilience paraclimbing pants cater to climbers with spinal cord injury by focusing on three functions: impact and abrasion protection, optimisation for both climbing and seated positions, and high performance.
Yaskawa spoke to different athletes at the Canadian Adaptive Climbing Society to understand different pain points in existing products and would refer back to them with new prototypes. Arc’teryx – Yaskawa’s industry partner for the project and now employer – provided access to their senior sample makers to help create the paraclimbing pants.
“Winning the Red Dot Award is global recognition of our students’ dedication to solving worthy problems for people who need design,” says Andhra Goundrey, dean of the Wilson School of Design and an alum of the Fashion and Technology program. “Hanae is such a deserving recipient of this accolade with her authentic commitment to using design for its full potential.”